Happy Easter Sunday to you all.
As is traditional for Easter, it has been a miserable day weather wise so there was sitting out in the garden listening to music today. So instead, I have chosen to make bread.
I do not claim to be a bread making expert. I don’t claim to be a expert in any thing for that matter. There is probably a rule saying that you don’t even attempt to make bread on a drizzly day but the people in my household like a brown bread so that is what I am attempting today.
The recipe I have used can be found here. I chose it specifically because it didn’t have a lot of ingredients and it sounded nice and straight forward.
First thing’s first. The Ingredients!
This recipe called for brown flour, sugar, salt, yeast, oil and warm water.
Chuck it in a bowl and mix.
Now I don’t really understand why, when you’re just going to mix everything up anyway, but them telly chefs always tell you to add the salt and yeast separately. So that’s what I did. The sugar was added separately aswell so as not to make one othe other ingredients feel lonely.
The Bread Is Thirsty.
I made a well and started by just adding a bit of the water. You don’t want to chuck it all in at once and end up with a sloppy mess that can’t be fixed. Just add a bit at a time and keep mixing.
Top tip: just use one hand to mix. That way you’ve got one hand clean for picking up utensils (or taking photos for a blog post)!
Once you’ve added enough water for a lumpy mix, the recipe says it’s time to add the oil and then start kneading.
How a Lazy Girl Kneads.
I like to make my bread in the oven. But I admit right now to using the bread machine to do the kneading for me. My arms are scrawny and I can be getting on with something else if the machine puts the elbow grease in on my behalf. I have no idea how long I was meant to knead it for so I stuck it in for 7 minutes as that seemed like a good amount of time.
Once you have finished your kneading (whether by hand or by mechanical friend) it’s time to tuck your little ball of dough up for a snooze. A good alternative to the damp teatowel is shower cap.
Set a timer!
The recipe says to leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size. It is a miserable day in April so nowhere in my house is really ‘warm’. I had to leave it a bit longer after the timer had gone off.
Lazy Girl Puts Some Effort In.
Once the dough has proved it needs to be kneaded again. (Lovely example of a homophone there). You start by knocking the air out. This is otherwise known as punching it flat. I have no kneading technique other than smash it about a bit, bring it into the middle (as in the bottom left pic) and then smash it about a bit more.
Now is a great time to get any internal rage out. Manger being a ball ache? Mother-in-Law complaining about the dusting you haven’t done? Bank manager refusing you a loan? Just take it out in the bread.
Again, I wasn’t really sure how much kneading to do, so I stopped when I was bored. I made it into a vague torpedo shape and tucked it back in for another 30 minutes. Now is an excellent time to preheat the oven.
Hairstyling and Blowdrying (We have a fan oven).
The recipe didn’t say anything about giving the bread a jazzy haircut but I thought it would be fun to take the scissors to it and give it a bit of a hedgehog ‘do.
40 minutes under the blowdryer to set the style and then we are ready to roll!
Oh. My. Goodness.
Well would you look at that. A loaf actually came out of the oven. It’s still a little bit doughy inside but in no way I edible. It’s actually rather tasty. HOORAY FOR BAKING YOUR OWN BREAD!
If you have done any Easter baking I would be thrilled to hear about it!
Pip pip, Charlotte x
You might be wondering about why this post is titled Baking Bread and Eddie Izzard. Eddie hasn’t even had a look in. The recipe wasn’t his and he definitely didn’t come round to be my soux chef.
The reason is, I can’t think about brown bread without thinking about this Eddie Izzard joke. Fortunately there isn’t a queue of murders lining up at my kitchen door to get at my loaf!